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Letters from Dotnuva (cont.)







Translated by Sara Mages

Dotnuva 16.3.37

My beloved loyal daughter Freida!

We haven't written you a letter for several weeks, we waited for a letter from you, but we can't wait, mother is “nagging” for a few days to write you a letter.

Leah left Kovna last Wednesday, on the 10th of this month. We've already received two postcards from Berlin. They were well received there, also by their Halutzim [pioneers] from “Hashomer Hatzair”.

They were in Berlin for two days, and she bought herself what she was missing. She walked around Berlin, as much as it was possible to walk in two days. She wasn't distressed because everything was well organized. They arrived to Berlin on Thursday morning, and traveled from there to Yugoslavia on Friday evening. They will probably stay there for several weeks, and then, they will immigrate.

We assume that they will arrive to Eretz-Yisrael during the intermediate days of Passover. We hope to receive a letter from her from Yugoslavia at the end of this week, then, we'll probably know everything, and we'll write you.

It cost us 2000 Litas, the “Centre” took 950 Litas from her, and since they have to stay in Yugoslavia it will cost money to live there. So, everything cost us two thousand Litas. Of course, we had to borrow it, half we borrowed with interest, and the other half from “Gemilut Hasadim” [mutual aid society]. When we get the money we will pay off the debts. But we will write about it in another letter.

Freida, do you think that this money would last for a long time?

Leah waited for the package. Maybe she would've chosen an outfit for herself, but so far we haven't received it.

We don't have any news, and thank God, all of us are well. Be well my children. May we have pleasures from you. We are waiting for your letter.

Your father.
Cordial greetings to you uncle, we wish you a happy and healthy Passover.


Hello my darling Freidale!

It's been a long time since I wrote you. I just didn't have the time. And now, I took upon myself to write, and if it works for me, I will write you about Leah's journey.

Leah's journey came quite suddenly, and she had to organize everything in two weeks, meaning, the documents and things for the journey.

We really didn't believe that we could arrange everything in such a short time, but when we had to - we became “active”. Leah didn't take too many things, and everything that she sewed for herself was very beautiful. It seems to me that Leah already wrote you what she sewed for herself. We waited for the package that you sent us because it would have come to use, and I'm very surprised that we haven't received it yet.

I traveled with Leah to Kovna in the early hours of Friday morning. The parting at home went pretty well, Leah has a very strong personality and she knows how to hold on in such moments.

We thought that she would have to travel from Kovna on Sunday, but in fact, she traveled on Wednesday evening, on the six o'clock train to Berlin. Ten young women traveled with her.

Many arrived to escort the “immigrants”. Mrs. Leah Rubinstein and Yagaite (you know them) came to escort Leah. Yagaite doesn't stop talking about you, and she wants you to write her. She left the kibbutz because she doesn't have a chance to get an immigration certificate. Now she lives in a room with another girl, and she is looking for a job. If possible, she also wants to immigrate, but it's very difficult to arrange.

Freidale, I'm sending you my pictures with Leah (I'm writing you the names, maybe you won't recognize us, we came out very bad). We were photographed at home before Leah's journey, it was cold outside, and for that reason we look frozen. I believe that this letter will reach you during the intermediate days of Passover.

Freidale, write us about everything, how do you live right now? Why do you write so little about yourself? You probably think that it doesn't interest us, but you have a very big mistake.

At home we already feel the pressure of Passover eve. We filtered the wine and tomorrow we will make mead. Today we washed the laundry, and as mother says, soap dripped from our heads.

It's raining outside from time to time, but the summer hasn't arrived yet. In Kovna they're getting ready for a big flood. Well, what else can I write you? Oh, yes. We received a letter from Shoshana, she sent us a list of what Leah should take with her, but the letter came too late. In general, she writes that Leah should take very little with her because she would probably go to a kibbutz. Shoshana writes that the difficult situation in Israel didn't affect the kibbutzim as much as it affected the individual person.

About herself she writes that she's working. We often receive greetings from Shoshana through Goldberg, she meets them every day. By the way, I will write you the news, Leah Goldberg is getting married, and the wedding will take place right after Passover.

Greetings to you from Eta, she's here right now. Their family will grow soon. I don't know when Eta's happy occasion will take place, in any rate, I'll write you.

Freidale, be well and happy, and have a good time.

The family picture didn't come out very well, so don't worry about it.
Yours Pessie.

Greetings from mother, Miriam, and our aunt. All of us look better.


My beloved daughter,

How are you, how is your life?

I had a lot to write. I always think about the good times that you and all of us had, it passed so quickly, and to our great grief, it's gone and there's nothing that we can do about it. May God allow us to hear good news from you and from our entire family.

I think that you'll get this letter on Passover. You probably already know that our Leahnke' left with luck, may she arrive to the place successfully.

Apparently it was a good package for us, especially in such a difficult time, and we're also concerned about the money, we took obligations upon ourselves. May God allow us to only hear good news.

Be well.
Wishing you, your mother.

Warm regards to your uncle and to all our friends.


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